Transporting fine art can be a challenge and isn’t without risk, however, sometimes it’s unavoidable. Whether you’re moving house, showing your art or buying or selling a new piece, you’ll need to know how to move your fine art safely to prevent it from becoming damaged in transit.
In this blog, we’ll look at the dos and don’ts of transporting fine art.
Do Take Notes
Before you even start moving your art, it’s a good idea to make notes on the condition of each piece and take photographs too. You’ll need this evidence if you have to make an insurance claim for damage later.
Do Wear Gloves
Even if your hands appear clean, when you handle art without gloves, you risk leaving behind dirt, grease or fingerprints that could potentially damage the piece. Using protective gloves offers a better grip and keeps your fine art in tip-top condition.
Do Use the Right Packaging
Using the right packing materials when transporting fine art is key to ensuring it remains safe in transit. Commonly used packing materials include bubble wrap and styrofoam as well acid-free paper and linen or cotton fabrics. You’ll also need appropriately sized, sturdy boxes, strong tape and packing labels.
Do Ensure Boxes are Securely Sealed
You don’t want boxes coming open during transit, risking damage to the artwork inside so make sure you use high quality, strong tape like parcel tape or duct tape to keep boxes firmly closed.
Do Consider Custom Crates
Large or unusually sized pieces of art and sculptures are unlikely to fit in standard-sized boxes. In this case, you will need to order custom boxes or crates in advance in order to safely move your art.
Do Seek Help and Advice From Experts
Even if you follow all the steps above, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee you won’t run into problems along the way. When it comes to transporting fine art, in most cases it’s best to seek help and advice from experts. Aardvark Art Services are nationwide fine art transport experts and our fully trained team can make transporting your art safe and stress-free.
Don’t Use Acidic Packaging
When it comes to packing materials, ensure any card or paper is acid-free as acidic packaging can damage fine art. Similarly, make sure that you know how to use your packaging correctly, for example, don’t wrap oil paintings directly in bubble wrap without a layer in-between.
Don’t Forget to Label Boxes
Label boxes clearly so it’s obvious what’s inside when it arrives at the other end and make sure to use shipping labels like ‘Fragile’ and ‘Do Not Stack’ to send clear messages to anyone handling the artwork.
Don’t Stack Art
When transporting fine art don’t ever be tempted to stack boxes! Stacking should be avoided at all times and anyone handling the boxes should be aware of this.
Don’t Scrimp on Bubble Wrap!
You can never use too much bubble wrap when transporting fine art, so if in doubt, add more not less! Bubble wrap is an effective way to protect your artwork when in transit and providing it’s used correctly (not applied directly to oil paintings, for example, or wrapped too tightly around pieces) it is an ideal packing material.
Don’t Forget Insurance
Insurance is vital when it comes to transporting fine art that is fragile, valuable or significant. The correct insurance can protect against damage during transit as well as covering you if your artwork is lost or stolen. Find out more about insurance for shipping paintings and antiques here.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask the Experts!
When it comes to transporting fine art, knowledge and preparation are key. If it’s not something you’ve done before, don’t be afraid to consult experts.
Here at Aardvark Art Services, we’ve been transporting fine art across the UK since 1988, working with galleries, museums, auctioneers, private collectors, and artists. We understand the challenges of moving artwork and how priceless each and every piece is so you can trust us to get your precious goods from A to B safely and securely.
Regardless of whether you’re moving a single canvas from one home to another or have a full-scale installation to transport across the country, we can find a solution to meet your needs. This includes custom packaging, temperature-controlled, trackable vehicles, secure storage and expert handlers.
Our services include a fine art courier service and antique transport alongside a range of packing and storage solutions.
For more tips and advice or to read more about transporting fine art, you can also visit our blog.
Get In Touch
If you would like to discuss our art transportation services, get in touch today by calling us on 01253 794673 or sending us an email at [email protected]. Alternatively, you can fill out our contact form here.